Predicting the NCAA tournament bracket

Selection Sunday is less than a month away, so it’s time to play close attention to which teams are safely in the field and which ones still have some work to do. Here is the latest set of projections from our newest bracketologist, Jordan Schwartz.

NEWARK REGION

 

Seed

Team

Comment

at Cleveland

1

  Pittsburgh

The Panthers’ 6-2 record against the RPI’s top 25 makes them the overall No. 1 seed.

 

16

Texas State/

Texas Southern

Four-game winning streak puts Texas State in first place in the Southland.

 

8

UCLA

The Bruins have won five consecutive games.

 

9

Minnesota

Minnesota finally snapped its four-game losing streak by knocking off Iowa on Sunday, but the Gophers are just 3-6 vs. the top 50.

 

at Tucson

5

Vanderbilt

Vandy is on a roll, scoring a pair of 81-77 home wins over Alabama and Kentucky.

 

12

Cincinnati/ Richmond

Things won’t be easy for Cincy, which still has Louisville, UConn and Georgetown (twice) left on its slate.

 

4

Texas A&M

Texas A&M ended a three-game slide by winning a pair of three-point road games over two teams in the bottom half of the conference.

 

13

Missouri State

The Bears get the nod over Wichita State thanks to their head-to-head win.

 

at Tampa

6

West Virginia

Next up is an important game at Syracuse on Monday night.

 

11

UAB

UAB travels to Memphis for a big showdown on Wednesday.

 

3

Florida

The Gators are a shocking 8-1 against the top 50.

 

14

Kent State

The MAC leader has won six straight.

 

at Charlotte

7

St. John’s

The Red Storm now has a ridiculous five RPI top-25 wins.

 

10

Michigan State

Despite its rough past four weeks, MSU’s strength of schedule (9), top-50 wins (3) and top-100 wins (7) give it a better resume than most bubble teams.

 

2

Duke

Duke has fewer top-50 wins than BYU and a worse top-100 record than San Diego State.

 

15

Bucknell

Bucknell has won eight straight at home.

 

 

ANAHEIM REGION

 

Seed

Team

Comment

at Cleveland

1

Ohio State

The Buckeyes blew a 15-point lead with 13 minutes to play at Wisconsin.

 

16

Murray State

The Racers have won eight in a row.

 

8

Saint Mary’s

The Gaels host Utah State in an important Bracketbuster game on Saturday.

 

9

Georgia

The Bulldogs’ next three games are against Vandy, Tennessee and Florida.

 

at Tampa

5

Missouri

The Tigers should win their next three games.

 

12

Florida State/

VCU

FSU’s hopes took a major hit when leading scorer and rebounder Chris Singleton broke his right foot against Virginia.

4

Louisville

The Cards hit 13 3-pointers against Syracuse’s zone.

 

13

Princeton

The Tigers have won nine in a row.

 

at Washington D.C.

6

Kentucky

The Wildcats have lost their last three on the road.

 

11

Butler

Butler is trending upwards thanks to a four-game run.

 

3

Connecticut

The Huskies haven’t lost to a team outside the RPI’s top 25.

 

14

Oakland

Don’t forget they won at Tennessee earlier this season.

 

at Denver

7

Arizona

Arizona may lead the Pac-10, but its marks against the RPI’s top 25 (0-2) and top 50 (1-3) don’t compare well to the teams seeded above the Wildcats.

 

10

Kansas State

KSU took one more step toward the bracket’s exit when it lost at Colorado.

 

2

BYU

Jimmer Fredette leads the country with 27.3 points per game.

 

15

Long Island

LIU has a two-game lead in the NEC.

 

 

SAN ANTONIO REGION

 

Seed

Team

Comment

at Tulsa

1

Texas

The Longhorns are outscoring their opponents by an average of 16.1 points per game.

 

16

Florida Atlantic/

Hampton

FAU’s only NCAA Tournament appearance came back in 2002.

8

George Mason

The Patriots’ 11-game winning streak is the second longest in the country.

 

9

Washington

Washington held serve by winning a couple of home games last week against Cal and Stanford.

 

at Denver

5

Villanova

They lost both of their games last week, the first thanks to a miraculous last-minute comeback by Mike Rice’s improving Rutgers team, and the second to Pitt.

 

12

Valparaiso

Valpo has won three straight to take over the Horizon League lead.

 

4

Purdue

Purdue is 11-5 against the top 100.

 

13

Belmont

Belmont last won the Atlantic Sun in 2008.

 

at Washington D.C.

6

Xavier

They had a big week, scoring a big non-conference win at Georgia and then securing sole possession of first place in the A-10 with a victory at Duquesne.

 

11

Colorado State

Colorado State continued to hold its ground by beating New Mexico.

 

3

North Carolina

UNC may have proven more in its loss at Duke than it did in any win this season.

 

14

Vermont

Vermont is eyeing back-to-back trips to the Big Dance.

 

at Chicago

7

Tennessee

The Vols have great computer numbers (RPI 25, SOS 3), are 6-4 against the top 50 and have victories over ‘Nova, Pitt and Vandy.

 

10

Old Dominion

The Monarchs won at VCU last week.

 

2

Notre Dame

The Irish are ahead of Duke on the S-curve thanks to a 6-1 advantage in RPI top-25 wins.

 

15

Long Beach State

Long Beach State is looking for its first tournament appearance since 2007.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS REGION

 

Seed

Team

Comment

at Tulsa

1

 Kansas

The Jayhawks are the No. 1 team in the RPI.

 

16

Fairfield

Fairfield hasn’t danced in 14 years.

8

UNLV

UNLV missed a chance to lock up a bid when it fell by six points at home to San Diego State on Saturday.

 

9

Marquette

When you compare the Eagles to other bubble teams, they are the only one with three RPI top-25 victories.

 

at Chicago

5

Syracuse

SU fell to G’town after Rick Jackson was neutralized by four early fouls and then it lost at L’ville despite nearly overcoming a 20-point second-half deficit.

 

12

Utah State

The Aggies have just one top-100 win and that came over No. 100 Long Beach State.

 

4

Wisconsin

Wisconsin moves up after knocking off the top-ranked Buckeyes to extend the Badgers’ home winning streak to 17.

 

13

Coastal Carolina

Their 22-game win streak is tops in the country, but they have zero top-100 victories.

 

at Charlotte

6

Temple

The Owls have won six in a row.

 

11

Boston College

BC’s computer numbers (RPI 43, SOS 21) are strong enough for an at-large bid and its seven top-100 wins are more than most other bubble teams.

 

3

Georgetown

The Hoyas have gone from 1-4 to 9-4 in the Big East.

 

14

College of Charleston

Charleston hasn’t made the tournament since 1999.

 

at Tucson

7

Illinois

The Illini haven’t won consecutive games since Jan. 6.

 

10

Memphis

Thanks to a weak bubble and a three-game winning streak over top-85 teams, Memphis moves up to a 10 seed.

 

2

San Diego State

Less than two weeks until SDSU/BYU Part II.

 

15

Montana

Montana is looking for its second straight trip to the NCAAs.

 

The last schools in: Cincinnati, Florida State. VCU, Richmond

The last schools out: Cleveland State, Gonzaga, Oklahoma State, Wichita State